Von Miller sacks Bears QB Caleb Hanie in the Broncos week 14 win. (Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Denver Broncos Defense Critical To Six Game Win Streak

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Just as Homeland Security issues a color-coded threat level at airports, the Denver Broncos go to a threat level orange on Sundays. Call it Orange Crush part 2.

It’s said that the color orange stimulates emotions and appetite. It’s a color that’s on the edge — not as aggressive as red and not as cheerful as yellow.

The color is a good representation of what the Broncos are right now. They are a team that’s hungry to win and on the brink of making the playoffs for the first time since 2005.

While the Tim Tebow train is full steam ahead, Denver would simply be Enver with out it’s ‘D’.

In the team’s 13-10 overtime win against the Chicago Bears, it was a stalemate through the first half. Going into the game, the Broncos held a 5-2 record all-time in games tied 0-0 at halftime.

The Bears had just 84 yards of total offense at halftime. At the end of the first quarter the Bears had just two passing yards. Mid-way through the second quarter, they had -6 passing yards.

Sometimes Denver’s defense doesn’t get the credit that it deserves. In their six consecutive wins, they’re giving up 17.0 points per game. In four of those wins, they’ve held their opponent to 13 points or less.

Just as Tebow’s arm, Willis McGahee’s legs, and Matt Prater’s foot are making the big plays to win games, the Broncos defense is making big plays to give those guys the opportunity to do so.

Whether it was a timely interception against the Chargers, a pick-6 against the Jets, or a forced fumble against the Bears, the Broncos seem to have caught lightning in a bottle. When both sides of the ball can continually come up with big plays, game after game, there’s something unique going on.

It all started when John Fox was brought in. His focus has always rested with his defenses. He brought Dennis Allen in as defensive coordinator. With that, the defensive focus and the defensive aggressiveness were in place, theoretically.

The team patiently waited for a healthy Elvis Duemrvil to return, they drafted Von Miller with the No. 2 overall pick, and they made sure to retain veteran leaders and sure fire future Hall of Famers Champ Bailey and Brian Dawkins.

Those moves paid off because the trickle-down effect took place. Those four guys are as aggressive as they come and they expect their teammates to follow suit.

It was D.J. Williams who stepped up in this one. He led the team in tackles (9) and had 2 sacks for a loss of 16 yards. That’s what happens when teams can’t figure out what to do about Dumervil and Miller. If you double those guys, someone like Williams breaks through. Teams can play them one-on-one so what do they do?

“They’re just a good defense,” Bears QB Caleb Hanie said. “They’ve been holding a lot of guys down the last couple of weeks during their strea. They’re a tough defense….They play hard and added good pressure today.”

Hanie went 12-of-19 passing for 115 yards, but he could not put the team in scoring position all day. The Bears went 2-for-15 on third down, and they gave up 4 sacks.

Von Miller added another sack to his total for the season (11.5) and tied a Broncos rookie sack record. With 11.5 sacks through 12 games, he ranks third in NFL history behind Leslie O”Neal (San Diego, 1986 – 12.5), and a guy he saw yesterday – Julius Peppers (Carolina, 2002 – 12.0). Miller also added five tackles with two of them going for a loss against the Bears.

Duemrvil totaled five tackles, 1 sack, and recovered the fumble that Wesley Woodyard forced at the most critical time of the game (overtime) when the Bears were in field goal range.

“That’s why we play this game,” Dumervil said of coming from behind to win. “That’s why we work hard – training camp, practice. That’s why we stress it in meetings. You never quit. You never know what could happen, and that’s a perfect example. Coach Fox always talks about ‘The game is never over until it’s over.’ The guys believed it and we did it.”

All of these close wins appear to be due to something out of the ordinary. Five comeback victories including three wins in overtime is something to stare at in wonderment.

“Whatever it is, I love it,” Bailey said of winning close games. “You make up your own words, I’ve got mine in my head.”

How about the definition of Defense: Resistance against attack; Protection; Security; Preservation.

“I never had a doubt,” Bailey said. “Until I walk off that field, winning or losing, there’s never any doubt.”

The Denver Broncos’ definition of defense: No Doubt.

Orange Crush is back.

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Tags: Champ Bailey Chicago Bears Denver Broncos Elvis Dumervil Von Miller

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